Between all of the decor, parties and festivities, the Thanksgiving hustle and bustle can be a bit hectic for us, not to mention for our furry friends. Whether you’re traveling or celebrating at home this year, it’s important to be mindful of your pet’s wellbeing.
Erin Askeland, CPDT-KA and training and behavioral expert at Camp Bow Wow, North America’s largest and most trusted pet care franchise, has pulled together some of the many ways to keep your furry family member safe this Thanksgiving.
Quick, Easy Ways to Pet-Proof Your Home for Thanksgiving
To truly pet-proof your home, start by getting down on the floor to see the world the way your pet sees it. This allows you to spot potential hazards that you might not notice from your vantage point.
- Treat your pet like you would a child: Active puppies and kittens can easily get into dangerous situations. Use safety gates in areas where dangerous holiday items are to prevent your pet from getting into trouble.
- Take caution with wires: Pets can easily injure themselves with electrical wires and outlets. Use caution when hanging up holiday lights on trees and around the house. Secure all electrical cords and outlets and keep your dog in areas of your home where cords cannot be accessed.
- Avoid holiday plants: Plants can be poisonous for pets, so be cautious when placing holiday wreaths, flowers and plants around the house where your dog can easily access them.
- Candles: Lit candles pose a serious threat to both your dog and your home. Keep your dog away from candles because they can easily be knocked down creating a fire hazard.
- Hide the trash can: A hyper puppy can easily knock over a trash can and spread garbage and bacteria throughout your home. In addition, dogs can choke on hazardous items, so be sure to properly dispose of all holiday wrapping and keep it out of your dog’s reach.
- Utilize a sofa cover: To avoid fur on your loveseat, use aseat or slipcover to avoid a mess before guests arrive.
- Be careful with fruit and candy baskets: Holiday treats will inevitably be present during this season, but grapes (and raisins), chocolate and other holiday treats are actually deadly for dogs. Candy wrappers can also be threatening to your dog, so be sure to throw away all wrappers in a place where your dog can’t get to them.
Tips for Traveling with Pets:
1) Flying with your pet: If you are going to take your pet on an airplane, it is important to determine whether your pet will need a crate or a carrier. Larger dogs will fly in a crate in the cargo, and smaller dogs that fit into a carrier can fly in the plane. Make sure you find out the requirements for your dog prior to booking your flight.
2) Familiarize your pet with its crate or carrier: Pets like familiarity. If you plan on keeping your pet inside a carrier or crate while traveling, make purchases at least a month before travel to allow your pet ample time to get comfortable with the new environment. Place him or her in the carrier and provide some treats. Gradually lengthen the time your pet is in the crate or carrier until your pet seems at ease in its new space.
3) Car Safety: It is important that we always think about the dog’s safety while in your car. If you want it to sit on the seat, get your pup a dog seatbelt. It allows your dog to move around but provides restraint in the case of an accident. If you have an SUV, you can buy a gate that keeps it from jumping from the back to the front.
4) Feed your pet no less than five or six hours before traveling: It is very easy for your dog or cat to become sick during travel. Providing time for food to digest lessens the chances of your pet becoming ill.
5) Find a pet-friendly hotel: And if you have plans during the day, since most pet-friendly hotels will not allow pets to be left in the room alone, consider taking your dog to a nearby Camp Bow Wow doggie day care facility or hire a Home Buddies by Camp Bow Wow pet sitter to keep Fido company. Camp is open early in the morning until late in the evening, so your pup can play all day.
6) Make your pet feel at home: Use familiar dishes, blankets, toys and other items from your home to create a sense of comfort for your pet.
And If Fido can’t travel with you, book him an overnight stay at one of Camp Bow Wows 100+ franchises across the country; you can even watch him while on-the-go via Camp Bow Wow’s iPhone App, which has a web-cam feature that is hooked up at every location. Or let your pet stay at home, with Camp Bow Wow’s “Home Buddies,” which provides at-home visits for those who’d rather leave their dog at home while your family travels.